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Harland Miller (British, b.1964)
Harland Miller (b. 1964) is a critically acclaimed British novelist and artist whose work experiments with the relationship between image and text. He has become most well-known for his large-scale satirical paintings and prints of vintage Penguin book covers. The painted book covers appear old and worn like a typical used vintage book, but Miller adds his own ironic phrases as the titles, constructing a type of discourse on the disconnect between representation and reality.
Born in 1964 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Miller graduated with his bachelors and masters degrees from Chelsea College of Art in London, where he continues to live and work today. He lived and exhibited in New York, Berlin, and New Orleans during the 1980s and 1990s, and it was in the year 2000 that he received critical acclaim with his debut novel Slow down Arthur, Stick to Thirty, which was about a kid traveling with a David Bowie impersonator all around northern England. The following year, Miller created his famous series of Penguin book cover paintings.
Exploring the ways in which meaning is produced, Miller’s art combines different aspects of abstraction and figurative painting with that of Pop Art. Undoubtedly, he is greatly influenced by Ed Ruscha, who is celebrated for juxtaposing words and images, but his paintings also reflect the works of Robert Rauschenberg and Anselm Kiefer. The author Miller references most in his work and career is Edgar Allen Poe. As the Writer in Residence at the ICA in 2002, he organized several events using his experience in both art and literature, with one entire season dedicated solely to the works of Poe.
Harland Miller’s work has been part of several group and solo exhibitions, including those held at the White Cube in London; Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York; the Royal Academy of Arts in London; ICA in London; Kunsthalle in Mannheim; the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and Jesus College in Cambridge. The sarcasm in his work continues to bring a refreshing humor to the contemporary art world and certainly reflects a mood felt amongst artists today.
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